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Politics of Thursday, 16 June 2016

Source: Atta Kwaku Boadi

NDC, PNC ‘marriage’ collapsing as Apaak eyes Azong’s seat

What used to be a ‘political marriage’ between the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the People’s National Convention (PNC), Today can report, is gradually falling apart.

That, Today understands, has come as a result of the decision by the National Chairman of the PNC, Bernard Ambataayela Mornah, to challenge the NDC incumbent Member of Parliament (MP) for Nadowli-Kaleo constituency in the Upper West Region, Hon. Alban Sumana Bagbin, in the November polls.

While the PNC is seriously targeting Hon. Bagbin’s seat, who is the Majority Leader in Parliament, the NDC is also poised to reclaim its Builsa South constituency seat in the Upper East Region which it lost in 2004 to the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP).

The Builsa-South seat which is being challenged by Presidential Staffer, Dr. Clement Apaak, is currently being occupied by a PNC member, Hon. Alhassan Azong, who apparently is a Minister of State in charge of Public Sector Reforms, in the current administration.

Whatever must have caused the disaffection between the two parties, some political analysts who spoke to Today yesterday in an interview via telephone said, although it is good for the country’s democracy, they expressed worry about the whole development.

In the case of Builsa South, they were not much surprised that the NDC wants to take the seat back having tried it in 2008 and 2012 after losing it in 2004.

Nevertheless, a political science lecturer at the University of Ghana, Legon who spoke to Today on condition of anonymity could not understand why this time around, the Builsa South parliamentary contest has become so keen and “dear to the NDC.”

Subsequently, he asked: “Is it because the NDC’s candidate is more influential than the incumbent MP”?

According to the Legon lecturer, although the Builsa South contest would not be an easy one, he was optimistic that the NDC candidate will sail through.

That optimism, he said, was because the loyalty of the PNC’s man was divided, having allegedly asked the Builsa South constituents to vote for him, whiles they do same for his party’s flag-bearer, Dr. Edward Nasigiri Mahama.

The lecturer also contended that the Builsa-South MP’s loyalty to President John Dramani Mahama became more questionable when the latter appeared barely a fortnight ago on Point Blank on Citi FM where he was asked where his loyalty lies and said “my loyalty is to the state.”

But for Mornah, some NDC activists who spoke to Today described his decision as the “joke of the century.”

They were shocked to hear that the PNC national chairman whom they alleged received financial support from President Dramani Mahama to aid him in his campaign during his party’s recent national delegates’ congress now “wants to bite the same hand that fed him.”

“This is the highest form of betrayal and I never expected Mornarh to do that to us, although he can’t unseat Hon. Alban Bagbin,” a member of Dome Kwabenya NDC in the Greater Accra Region, who gave his name as Agyemang Brefo, told Today.

Benard Mornah is reported to have described himself as the “Messiah “for Nadowli-Kaleo constituency who will bring the needed infrastructural developments to the area.

According to him, the veteran incumbent MP of the area has outlived his usefulness and for that matter, he should not be retained for the sixth time.

"If you listen to the president mentioning roads that are being worked on, you don't hear the name of a road being worked on in this area. If you see a tarred road in this constituency, then it is passing through to other places such as Hamile."

"I believe with me as Member of Parliament we will ensure we work to get the roads tarred and also ensure that other development needs of the area are met," he was reported to have told Nadowli-Kaleo constituents during his recent visit to the constituency.